Skillful launches in Phoenix, connects job seekers to employers

Skillful helps employers find potential employees with the necessary skills, even if they don’t have a college degree. The new platform will match job seekers’ skills with potential employers. (Photo courtesy of Skillful)

Maureen Pusateri attended the launch event because she wanted to use her skills in healthcare to find a job working with kids. (Photo by Chloe Nordquist/Cronkite News)

Area residents gathered in downtown Phoenix on Thursday for the official launch of Skillful, a skills-based platform matching job seekers’ skills to potential employment.

Skillful helps employers find potential employees with the proper skills, even if they don’t have the “proper” degree.

“This is a place where there’s a great opportunity for growth for people who don’t have a college degree,” said Zoe Baird, CEO and president of the Markle Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit. Officials and community members gathered Thursday for demonstrations of the site.

Skillful provides online tools and resources for these job seekers. The Markle Foundation founded Skillful, which launched in Colorado and the greater Phoenix area.

The platform is geared toward middle-skill job seekers – people with a high school diploma, but not a four-year degree. In the Phoenix area, more than 30 percent of the job openings are geared toward middle-skill workers, according to a news release.

Many of these kinds of jobs offer a median salary above $60,000 a year, the release said. And the site will focus on some of the largest industries here such as advanced manufacturing and information technology.

Maureen Pusateri attended the rollout event to change her career path. She said she wanted to use her skills in health care to find a job working with kids.

“Employers are willing to hire people that don’t have maybe a bachelor’s but have the skills they’ve learned through life,” Pusateri said. “I like their philosophy of matching it and using the life skills that I have.”

The Skillful platform will be integrated with LinkedIn.

“We were looking for ways which we could use LinkedIn’s already existing network and capabilities to be able to help close the skills gap,” said Allen Blue, co-founder of LinkedIn.

Skillful is open to educators, employers and job seekers.